Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunshine

It was rainy today.

Funny enough... I think I am eventually digging myself out of that state of depression...

I am so very happy that I could still go to work and have a job.

Although I do not perform task very grand, every little thing is a thing I do...

When I took a break to get some fresh air some time today, it was fairly chilly, rainy and cloudy on the outside.

However, I felt the sun is shining inside, which makes me feel happy and smile despite of the seemingly miserable weather outside... (just feeling happy not hallucination lol)

Ya... like how the song goes, so I thought, "I got sunshine..."

And, I also wish everyone to have the sun shining to keep your days bright from inside!

Forgetting

I guess they are right about it... things happen for a reason...

When I stood up to stretch a bit, it occurs to me... while the Motorola modem forgot the mac address of the laptop in 15 minutes, I have gradually starting to forget who I am or who I once was.

Perhaps, it is due to the medications...

Perhaps, it has something to do with the 10 month journey and the adjustment needed to move through it...

I can't tell you why but it feels as if much of the past is forgotten while certain themes emerging rooted in human connection and manifested in, sort of, I guess, abstract kinda thinking.

Anyway, in the end of the day, I am but a 800 bl guerrilla in the room... God knows what I am saying... (could also simply be midlife crisis... lol)

Sometimes it is good to forget

I tried to set up a small home nework so that I could be babysit both my mama and I with the Internet at the same time.

Mr. Jackass Arizona had not come back to claim this laptop that was, once upon a time, state-of-the-art technology while today could barely run windows XP.

What is left is also a linksys router, which I have been using every time mama comes to visit.

Used to be, all that I had to do was to connect the network cable between the cable modem and the router as well as between the router and the computer...

Voila! Simple as that... the job is done and everyone in my rat nest online.

Tonight, I thought--- since all that I really accomplished today was figuring out how to print out some beautiful name tags and, as of 6-7 o'clock, my head was still not really running, one thing I could do to boost my self-esteem up a bit would be to set the network up.

Ended up, the task at stake was not as straightforward as I had thought... (sounds like my life's story... lol 8-X)

So I hooked up the modem, router, and, one of the laptop.... with simple wired connection, I still could not get the laptop to go on line.

I pondered to myself...

Could it be that the router is malfunctioning? Can't quite tell...

Then, I took a look at the Motorola SB5101 cable modem.... and I found that... although the cable modem was hooked up to the router and router to the laptop, the light indicating PC activities on the router is off....

As an attempt to rule out it was not the new modem that was contributing to the network error, I got myself online again and did a search about setting up a home network with Motorola SB5101 cable modem.

I clicked on the first link that I thought might be relevant and found a plausible answer in the third posting in a discussion forum....

So the tip goes...

"Turn off the Motorola SB5101 cable modem off for at least 15 minutes so that it could forget the last mac address it was connected to. "

So, I powered off the cable modem and the router as well.

I impatiently waited till the 15th minute to come (and after a few minutes, I decided to watch the food channel instead of staring at the desktop... lol).

Almost 20 minutes later, I powered on the cable modem and the router....

This time, the orange light indicating PC activities is on and blinks at me...

I turned to the laptop and test to see whether the computer is now online...

And, I went...

Hooray! Now I got one job done!

Then, I thought... how would I have known it remembers?

Then, I thought... how wonderful and aweful it would be to forget all things in life and be reset in 15 minutes?

At the same time, perhaps, sometimes it is good and needed to forget.

Chicken shit

I would have loved to be so courageous as to really cut the Depakote down by another 250 mg last night...

However, at times, I am still pretty much of a chicken shit....

As I was getting ready to take my pills last night, I stared at the bottle of Depakote---

Thinking...

To be honest, although it has been a bit over a month since I came out from the hospital, there was no change in the meds for the first week, I spent the second week switching from Risperdal back to Seroquel, and, thereafter, within less than 2 weeks, although still at a high dosage of 750mg, the dosage of Depakote has gone down by 50%...

Given the fleeting occurrences of the positive symptoms, I might want to consider to give my body and head a bit more time to come to a homeostasis kinda state.

So, with the pill cutter, I chopped that big pink bill in half and down it with water...

Chicken shit I am... so I thought to myself...

Or, choose the battle to fight and the right way to fight the battle... an alternative way to put it... so I thought to myself again.

Leaves

On my way to work, I see greens on some of the trees.

I thought to myself, soon flowers will blossom and spring will be in the air as well as love... lol


--- a random thought posted when the engine of my head refuse to start... feels like concrete inside... 8-O lol

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Husband or match maker wanted

Just want to remind everyone again that ratprincess is now finally getting ready to become a house mouse... Please feel free shall you or anyone you know could find me my prince so that I could start preparing to take care of one or two of these little ones below... lol

What is your criteria?

I thing I learned from my ebay experiences is that... even if someone won the bid for your items, it doesn't mean that the transaction will be completed because sometimes you will encounter buyers who will pay not.

In that case, ebay sellers have to report the item as a disputed item and, after waiting for 7 days, the seller will be able to reclaim the final value fee so as the take the loss and run-- and to put the item for auction again-- this is especially true when there seems to be some urgency in getting rid of the items for fear the items might turn not-gotten-rid-of-able. lol

Since I am still sitting here, doing nothing more than getting old, earlier today, I had a thought... maybe it is time to really let all past accounts be default and really put myself out in the market for auction again.

Then, this neighbor of mine from Taiwan, who is now living in California called me at home tonight.

She asked me about my legal status.

She inquired me about what kind of job I would like to seek shall she be able to find me a job in California.

Mail-order bride available-- three versions of Ratprincess available!The last question, which might be THE reason she called me about, was, "It might sound very awkward. Would you mind if I introduce someone to you and what would be your criteria?" lol

I thought not even for a minute and looked back at my mom who is also in the room, "Mom, what would be the criteria for a husband?"

My mama said, "As long as you like him."

I went back to the phone and said, "Well, maybe not too short so that the children won't be too short." lol

While mama was still on the phone with that neighbor, I sit here typing this posting and thinking to myself--- Gees... this state of mind and body... whoever bid first--- sold. lol

Options

In my imaginary world, people want to ask me... what I do when I am not being good...

I scratched my head and sort of thought very hard... as hard as I could.. only to come down to the conclusion that... nothing really...

Then, I thought to myself... OK... I could call my smoking and drinking as my congenital sins. These are the things that could be accounted as bad things I could do. In addition, maybe I could call picking up a few guys to have one night stands as bad; yet, I don't really fancy that and it is not very convenient when my mama is with me... (imagine me telling my mama-- would you please go online to check out the stock market in Taiwan cuz I am going to have a one-night-stand in the other corner of the room... lol)

For me, to be good at this point of time means I try all I could to be a daughter that does not drive my mama crazy and I try to keep her entertained when possible.

So, it occurs to me...

Possibly, good and bad are actually two different dimensions...

To be good, more generally, could be considered as not letting my existence contribute to other people's negative affect.

To be bad, more generally, could be considered (by either people in the real world or my hallucinations and delusions) as to do things that might be thought of as imposing danger to myself and that might solicit certain kinda societal attitude towards me.

Looking at the more general kinda perspective, I think what is getting me feeling really bored is not having the option to do be bad although you could choose freely whether you want to do it or not.

And, of course, who could say what is good and what is bad? Isn't the show "Sex and the City" such a bit hit and everyone sleeps with someone else like every other week? (Scratch my head)

What I want to be like at 90

It is very nice to think about how wonderful it must be to see life the way my grandma sees based on her years of life experiences.

How soothing to feel so very secure about one's own existence... I ponder.

I thought to myself...

It would be nice to live to be 90, too, and, to tell the younger generation how beautiful life is when, towards the later part of the journey, I could live to be so wise that I see nothing but the happiness, peace, and love.

What it be like?

I always wonder what is in the head of "mature" people and how they see life and the revolving world surrounding them.

Back a couple days, I asked mama who is in her late 60s. I said, "What does it feel like to be at your age?"

Mama told me, "Safety/security for everyone is most important."

When I was taking mama out today, while waiting for the elevator, my mama told me this question she asked grandma last year while grandma was 90 years old.

"Now you are in your 90s, what does it feel like and do you have worries?"

Grandma said replied...

She was most worried about my youngest uncles not married. However, at her age, nothing seems to be so very grand and important anymore... because what is the point of worrying about things you can not resolve?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chronic back pain and brain atrophy

Apkarian, A. V., Sosa, Y., Sonty, S., Levy, R. M., Harden, R. N., Parrish, T. B., et al. (2004). Chronic Back Pain Is Associated with Decreased Prefrontal and Thalamic Gray Matter Density. J. Neurosci., 24(46), 10410-10415.

In a report released in 2004, researchers made comparisons in the morphometry (the measure of shape) among for normal people and patients with chronic back pains. This study involves the use of the MRI technique on 26 patients with chronic back pain and 26 matched health individuals. In addition, the patients with chronic back pains are separated into two different groups with one group exhibiting sciatic pain and the other group without neuropathic etiology.

Patients with chronic back pain were found to have 5-10% less neocortical gray matter volume when compared to the normal and the amount of loss is related to the duration of the pain where longer duration predicts higher amount of loss.

In addition, it was found that the density of gray matter is reduced in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right thalamus for chronic back pain patients when comparing to the normal. In addition, the reduction is larger in the neuropathic patients than in the non-neuropathic patients.

In other words, what this article tries to tell us is that... pains hurt your brain anatomically and, again, pains are beyond feelings (while the beyong feeling study came after this article and looked at the functional level using the fMRI technique).

Come get your Medicine!

When I was in the cuckoo's nest, every night at around 7-8 o'clock, we all line up in a file waiting for our evening pills.

Sometimes, the patients would become so impatient that they would go knock on the window to see whether the meds are ready to go.

When the window for the meds is open, all of us the cuckoos would come flying forming a single file waiting patiently for our meds.

Such degree of enthusiasm doesn't really match up with what is depicted in one flew over Cuckoo's nest.

For me, in general, the hallucinations and delusions often start to come out and play at around after the dinner time (also depending on the day). This is the reason why, I bet, some patients are very impatient about the time of the delivery for the meds they take to control the symptoms.

In addition, granted, there were also non-smokers who really want to get out simply to breathe some fresh air. For the smokers like me, we know that, after we take our meds, we will be able to go out for our fresh air-- smoking time, and, we would have to wait for a longer time if our fellow cuckoos, who intend to go out, be sort of slow in taking their meds.

As a result, we sort of formed a fresh-air-group-monitoring system--- some of the patients in the day room would kept on watching, voluntarily and impatiently for the window towards the meds to open, once it is open, we will make sure we get all the fresh-air groupers to come out and take their meds-- regardless which room they are in...

"Come get your Medicine!!" Patients would so demand the other patients... lol 8-O

Depakote and side effects

Just realized that I have been missing the "te" part of the Depakote all these time. Can't help it due to my ESL status since it never really sounds like there is a "t" sound at the end of the world.

Anyway...

One reason why I am so very diligently wanting to get rid of Depakote is because this drug has been found to be contributing to birth defects despite of the fact that I yet have to find a donor for the sperms... lol

Following are some of the information concerning the side effects of the Depakote:

  1. http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/00657/depakote-fetal-death.html
  2. http://www.healthyplace.com/medications/divalproex_patient.asp
  3. http://www.onlinelawyerhelp.com/articles/depakote.html
  4. http://www.reyeslaw.com/dangerous-drugs/depakote.asp

All drugs have side effects and all drugs help in some way... just like water could carry a boat and sink one, too... I guess

Third day on 750 mg Depakote

It is very nice feeling to wake up in the morning seeing the sunlight and the heaviness on the chest and the lethargic kinda feeling is sort of going away, I think.

This is the third day for the dosage of Depakote to go down by another 250 mg...

I had come out from the cuckoo's nest taking 1500 mg of Depakote (mood stabilizer) in addition to either Seroquel or Risperdal (antipsychotic drug). In other words, controlling for the amount of antipsychotic drugs I take, within a month, the dosage of depakote has gone down by 750 mg or 50% percent so far.

Based on my personal expressions, too much of either mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs often brings me to a state of depressed mood. Since the last thing I want to do in life is to add even more drug to my system such as increasing the dosage of zoloft (antidepressant), it is a preferable alternative for me to see the decrease of downers (mood stabilizer, antipsychotic drugs)rather than the increase of uppers (antidepressant).

At the same time, the fleeting positive symptoms also give me the scares and makes me feel like walking on thin ice as I struggle day by day to cut down on the dosage of the meds to reclaim the functional part of my head while knowing I am only about 1 month apart from the cuckoo's nest.

During my last meeting with my psychiatrist, I wanted and want to try to cut the Depakote down to 500 mg this week because my head just won't start up and it does not feel so good to be disabled both physically and cognitively.

I said to my doctor, "It's been a month and I can't get my head back (let along the body)."

My shrink provided an alternative view, "It's only been a month."

He wants me to cut down by 250mg only and takes it slow.

Yet, I want to move on with my live and I am done with this Patience thing.

Then, this song came up again to my mind...

Life on the inside is not all that hip...

Life on the outside also is not all that it's cracked up to be (although I know that, when comparing to many other of my folks, I am much luckier because I have a job to go back to for my occupational therapy and... OK... tho cases in the following song shall really still be locked up in my biased opinion...).

Let the loonies loose
BB and The Medicine Men

(By the way, I don't think the lyrics below is applicable to my fellow patients. I believe they are people who do no harm to the others--- just gifted like me... Please read not simply at the surface level and think of their struggles to reenter the society. The majority of psychotic patients I have known do not fit into how psychotics are portraited in the media.)

It was a sunny afternoon in the middle of a springtime week
We were all painting pretty pictures and waiting for our daily pills
Then this pensive little nurse walks in with a message in her hand
She says she has an announcement -
so we all gather around and hear these magic words

(GIRL) Boys, you're free to leave
They're blaming it on the economy
So get your things and follow me
The time has come to turn the asylum key

We walked right out,in single file
All dressed in white, going out in style
All kinds of sickos wearing different kinds of smiles

Bye bye Bob (GIRL) Roadside Strangler (Deep voice)
Gonna miss ya, Billy Child molester

Later..... uhhhh, Jack Grandfather Raper
Charlie... please return that jacket Diagnosis undefinable

Well being back on the outside wasn't all that it's cracked up to be
Finding a job and a place to live with my resume wasn't easy
All my funny farm buddies were experiencing the same dilemma
So most of us kinda slipped back into our old ways - just like before

We walked right out, in single file
All dressed in white, going out in style
All kinds of sickos wearing different kinds of smiles

Let the loonies loose......
Let the loonies loose

Let the loonies loose......
Let the loonies loose.....
Cause we've got nothing to lose

Cable channels and tabloid papparazzis loved it
So did the writers, the publishers and the video chains
The massmedia was having a field day -
We were kinda celebreties
They were making movies, we were free

Everybody was happy -
Cause they had.........

Let the loonies loose......
Let the loonies loose

Let the loonies loose......
Let the loonies loose.....
Cause we've got nothing to lose

Well, sometimes I kind of have my regrets,
I know I hurt some folks like real bad
But society has no place left for me and it needs to cutback all its excess fees
So now I'm the regular guy down the street -
Hey kids, Want some candy????

Let the loonies loose......
Let the loonies loose

Let the loonies loose......
Let the loonies loose.....
Cause we've got nothing to lose


Copyright & Publishing Misty Music SWEDEN



Friday, March 28, 2008

Digging out

That thing called being depressed could make you feel low in energy level and more irritable.

The attempt to dig oneself out of that black hole of depression makes one even more tiring and vice versa.

When having a smoke, I had this imagery in my mind that I am six feet under with a shuffle... keep on digging upwards trying to see when I eventually could get back to see the beautiful sunlight.

I guess it makes me feel tired but I know I will see the light. At the same time, I know I will eventually see the light but still I feel tired.

Ratology- Down with Meds

I was thinking, at some point to rebuild the whole blog... yet, I think I still have a life ahead of me and I am not yet ready to get stuck at my past yet.

As a result, I have partially recovered the original Ratology blog, saved the monthly archive as PDF files and uploaded them to my account on Driveway.com.

I am not quite sure whether I have all the postings of july 2007 archived. Well, not like I have never lost data before...

When did I start getting crazier and crazier? Could it be before or after August? What might be the contributing factors?

In my imaginary world, something I have documented could be used by at least somebody... even a single soul is fine.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dissolved

Just realized that I shouldn't lie down for at least 30-45 minutes after taking my anti-inflammatory drug... Might as well type these thoughts down...

I thought of Ratology-Down with meds once in a while.

As time goes by, Ratology starts to dissolve like bubbles into the air...

What I mean is that... the goals, the pursuits, and the needs to prove something to someone.

I thought I have had my postings all backed up but somehow could not find them on this computer. Hopefully, it is still in the jump drive in the office.

Then, I thought, even if all documentations are lost... it is fine.

There is a reason why the past shall be the past so that the future could move into sight.

Then, the thought of all the things that got me so very worked out in the past few years or since I could remember led me to think about the concept of local minimum/global minimum and local maximum/global maximum. Although what is preferable is the global solution, how could we see the importance of global without the contrast of the local?

Then, I had another thought...

This is so funny a feeling... when no longer I feel the need to prove myself to be someone of some worth, when no longer does it matter where I shall land this coming fall (yet, because I took the whole year medical leave, I shall be back in NYC to finish my unfinished business), and, when no longer do things matter because all seem dissolved...

This is when you look back and say-- other than the 0.1 percent I talked about yesterday-- there is not really too much to life... 8-O

Then, I think back to myself again... how much of it is contributed by your gotten hit by a truck kinda depressive state and how much of it is the side effect of the seroquel and depako?

Depressed still

I often think that there are a lot of things I could do to help myself... However, many other things are outside of my own control... as a result, it doesn't really make sense to be fussing about them and all that I could do is to go with the flow.

Such as, shall depression be inevitable, whether it is because I am too drugged out or whatever the reasons there might be, there is nothing else I could do than to let it run through. I could try to do tiny little things such as putting up a smile to confused my head or not allowing myself to stay in bed not moving--- it is God's will when depression will pass but hopefully it had hit the bottom today.

In addition, it might take a bit more time until the impact of the decrease depako dosage to show....

At some point during the day, I thought to myself...

Gee, it is not so easy being a depressive psychotic in chronic pain and handicapped in the mobility department who might also fall under the department of conversion disorder, hysteric personality disorder, multiple personality disorder or maybe even PTSD... 8-O lol sigh

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What 99.9 percent is for

As I mentioned earlier, 99.9 percent of the time I have no idea what the hell I am talking about...

Then, why do I blog?

To document the thoughts and the trend of thoughts.

Hopefully, one day, the documentation could be of some use because, for me, all that I need now is the 0.1 percent.

The other parts of 99.9 percent

Just when I was having a smoke, looking down at the familiar street down below---

That is Broadway.

The blocks so very familiar to me by now.

10 months traveling up and down for no good cause but many good fruits... compassion, support, love, and care.

That gave me the courage to look back to what it had taken for me to get back to walk distance and crossing roads.

On a second thought, although there is no need for pain, much have I gained...

On a second thought, although there is no reason I have to be psychotic and prone for depression, much more of the sunny side do I see in life through the reincarnation alternative worlds..

Through these, I see the best in humanity and its manifestations.

Through these, I learn to chose to dwell in happiness rather than its inverses.

Shall the bodily functions are at the mercy of my body, the other parts of the 99.9 percent, I own them to the human network and their loving acts and thoughts.

I think, one day, I will make a card for each of them and tell them, "Thank you, Thank you, I love you. I love you"... like what that guy is yelling down stairs 6 floors under.

Scheduled change

I went to see my dear psychiatrist today.... Among all things spoken of, the side effects of the meds remain to be a major concern of mine...
  1. Cognitive constipation and failure to start the engine
  2. Physical constipation
  3. Appetite and metabolic rate (wonder whether I mention this)

It might seem like I remain to have my verbal diarrhea through my blog.

However, my head is slow and works so slow as if it were at the speed of zero on a highway.

That is Seroquel.... yet, at least, rather than not getting enough sleep, now I need excessive amount of sleep.

Tonight the dosage of Depako will go down by another 250 mg-- in other words, I will be taking 200 mg seroquel and 750 mg Depako.

Since the world outside still seem relative disconnecting to me, I hope the decrease of the dosage will not bring forth excessive increase in frequency and intensity of the positive symptoms.

Sunny side up

I think it takes work within oneself to ensure we got our sunny side up.

My day became even brighter when several people told me... "You are walking so much better than when I saw you before."

I don't want to look back but I peeped through my peripheral vision.... seeing me for many a day painstakingly (literally) pushing one foot forward at a time.... especially the time when I couldn't even lift my feet-- them baby steps...

Today, the road ahead might still be far, but, at least, I know that I could walk like normal people and when spring awakens, I shall be recovering much faster.

99.9 percent

I bumped into an acquaintance of mine today when getting ready to go to class...

Somewhere in our conversation, I said something I always felt, "99% of the time I have no idea what I am talking about."

My friend said, "At least that is higher than most other people."

In light of such comment, I realized that I might have provided an over-estimation and, as a result, I changed my mind, "Then, 99.9 percent of the time, I have no understanding what the hell I am talking about."

The things I am sure about all surround ordinary bodily functions (e.g., sleep, wake up, peep, poop 8-O lol)

lol

To love and to be loved

Complaining about my mom makes me feel like a no good daughter and such a self-perception doesn't quite go along with my cultural value... as a result, adds more stress to myself... which is no good for both my mental and physical health.

After my visit to my psychiatrist today, as I was strolling down the road doing some of my walking exercises, I looked at the heavy clouds in the sky... which might have contributed to my feeling of depressed... and that depressed kinda felling makes me feel even more guilty about being a daughter at my current state.... and blah blah blah...

I caught myself as this starts to become some run on kind of pattern and I thought, "I have to break this feedback loop of our worries about each other causing even more worries to each other."

My conservative description about my mobility issues must have led my mother to imagine my condition is much better than what she is seeing now which might have caused in her adjustment problem equivalent to cultural shock, and, much pain as a result of her unconditional love for her daughter.

Everyday, mama tries to cook all different kinds of Chinese herbal kinda thing to help me recover and everyday she says to me, "After that herbal thing, you are walking much better I think."

Every time I hear it, despite the fact that I know she meant well and she wants to encourage me, I could not but feel such cut like a knife inside because I have been waiting for miracle to happen for all these times, too. It would be nice for her comment to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.... if possible...

Yet, I try my best everyday for the past 10 months and many days... Yet, the progress of my rehabilitation hasn't been as smooth as I could like it to be.

In addition, since my mobility seems to be something more visible and I walk around like any other non-mentals, I suspect my mama might have forgotten the reason why she came into town 1 month earlier was because she wanted to take care of me after my hospitalization in the coo coo's nest.

Then, I thought to myself...

I could try to pretend I am taking it all fine and there is nothing not so constructive... but, it will not help...

So, I decided to say something about it... to my mama...

I know it will make her feel hurt and it will hurt me, too.

However, I guess, sometimes, we need to be given feedback on whether we are doing it right to love someone, at least this is how it works for ratprincess. lol

So, I got home and I told my mama, "I need to tell you something."

I told her that her worries about me turns into my worries about her and stress me out, which might further the amount of things she has to worry about. 8-O So, please learn to not worry so much.

Believe me... the above paragraph is short but it took a lot of courage for me to speak out my mind.

Mama didn't say a thing and she decided to go out to buy some tomatos on her own.

I let her go on her own as per her request because even my mama sometimes need times for herself.

I thought to myself... now she possibly feels both worried and hurt... so what shall I do?

Since she didn't want to go out for dinner, I took her to do grocery shopping and, later, cooked a huge pot of Taiwanese veggie dish...

She was so proud of the fact that I could cook that dish that she made the comment, "Now you could make shake n' bake and this veggie dish. You could go be a house wife!" 8-O lol

I knew, then, the hurt etc has now mostly gone out of the window and sooner or later would be over the rooftop.... what I am waiting for is a sign of confirmation that, too much, mama stress me out not--- through the worries originated from her maternal instinct.

In reflection, I think it is a lot of work to love and to be loved. It also takes a lot of courage etc. (like it is no common sense...) lol

(And, by the way, God knows whether I am loving her the right way.... 8-O)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Love could drive you crazy

Although people love each other using their own idiosyncratic ways, a lot of times, how they show you their love could really drive you crazy--- to the extend that you wanna yield at them and say... OK.. go where you want to go and be who you want to be.

Yet, please stop to rest for a bit cause that's how I could show mine to thee.

Apparently, while I am driving my mama crazy, my mama also drives me crazy... what a wonderful feedback loop... lol

When I got back home today, I found my mom never stopped for a moment, wanting to make sure she is doing everything she could do to make sure her baby's needs are covered.

So, from before dinner till after super, she did stop for a second to eat but she just kept on moving around--- all busy while, for me, the things that got her mind preoccupied were nothing to be worrying about at all.

For instance, where to place my cane and her demand that I soak my feet in hot water.

I sat there... trying to feel a sense of serenity while, I think, the energies I let go must have gone to her... and all the movement is driving me crazy... 8-O

At some point, I felt I should said something but it didn't really come out all that right...

I said, "Sit down and rest. Stop being so anxious," while what I meant was-- I want you to rest and I don't want you to be too tired.

She went out of the room and came back--- this time she was ready to rest.

I did not elaborate more on why I said what I said.

And, I thought to myself... my love for her must also be driving her crazy... 8-O lol

Slot machine

I figure that it might be a good idea for me to use as little of my head as possible to keep my neurotransmitters and their activities in vacation mode.

I spoke of ebay and its implication before.

Today, I wondered again to myself... would there be something else that requires even less cognitive capacity to perform while I am struggling to get my head reset in the next few days or weeks?

Then, I thought of the times when I diligently tried to figure out the educational implications of different computer games... and the numerous hours and days I dedicated into playing slot machine.

So I went online and found a website where free games are available.

It is wonderful... to myself I thought.

All that I did was clicking the left button on the mouse when the time comes, staring at and focusing on nothing essential, and the computer takes care of all else. In split second, an hour passed--- an hour closer to a brand new day, I thought.

Heaviness

It seems like it is getting more and more difficult for the engine to start up in my head recently despite of the fact that the dosage of Depako has gone down by 500 mg.

I did feel a bit restless at around 5-6 when I was getting ready to come home from work.

I got off the bus two stop earlier so that I could slowly strolled along Broadway to walk off some of the useless energy.

Then, when I was having a smoke, I realized that it felt really heavy on my head and chest... the same feeling I would get when under the influence of depression.

I thought to myself...

Several rational for the given observation:

  1. Depression is finally manifesting itself in response to all that jazz I have been through
  2. I am still too well drugged out that the meds are starting to put me into the depressed kinda mode
  3. There might be some change in the weather in the next few days because either the air pressure or the humidity is changing in the air...
lol

Boring

I think it is very boring to be good.

I have only been good for a couple of weeks now and I am already getting bored.

At the same time, recently, I am absolutely engulfed in that 空空 kinda 情薀... wondering what it be like to elope into the mountains, become like those monks in Shoaling mountain in the marshal art films, growing my own fruit and veggies. (Then, it did occur to me my hideout should be where the temperature is warm and pharmacy not too far to get my drug. In addition, I still gotta somehow have funds to allow me to pay for high speed Internet connection, cable, electricity and telephone. 8-O lol)

Then, it occurs to me that...

Already getting bored after less than 2 months, being good might not really be my department while I see no intrinsic motivation to push myself to master the art of it... lol

Back to life


At least in second life... where I don't need to imagine I could run... rather, I could fly... lol

Monday, March 24, 2008

Anyone reading?

Working so hard on the keyboard, once in a while, I scratch my head and wonder... anyone reading? 8-\

3rd day on 1000 mg

This is the third day for me to be taking 1000 mg depako in addition to the 200 mg Seroquel.

It would have been interesting for me to see whether the positive symptoms would come out to play earlier except for my own stupidity to rush for no good.

There were some fainting voices during the day with words like... "classified as abnormal" or did I really hear it just it was not about me?

It doesn't really matter anyway...

It might have something to do with the pain killer I took... that it was not until at around 10 o'clock did the positive symptoms involving auditory and bodily kinda hallucinations-- sort of like alien adoption-- someone else is using your body to view your surrounding.

I sensed it and I went... oh, my lord, here we go again... how much longer do I have to wait to take my meds... lol sigh

Ratology M&M relaxation techniques

Just when I was slowing bringing my body towards the pharmacy, I had the idea that... pains might not be conductive to my attempt to get rid of my delusions and hallucinations.

Pains induce stress, stress could trigger the release of more neurotransmitter and, consequentially, I might experience more positive symptoms.

So, I started to think about those M&Ms like neurotransmitters sun tanning on the beach of Porta Plata, DR., sipping the strawberry margarita served by Seroquel, Depako, and that pain killer I took to numb my pains.

Then, it occurs to me... this is starting to make me sound like an alcoholic... maybe we could consider serving these neurotransmitters some other types of entertainment.

So, referencing back to the things I did in Porta Plata...

I had in my mind neurotransmitters eating Fillet Mion in a classy restaurant.

I had in my mind neurotransmitters floating in the sea on the surfing board in fair temperature, be it rain or shine, smiling at the rainbow at the other end of the sky.

I had in my mind 2 neurotransmitters getting ready to go out for sea Kayaking... with one clumsy one couldn't get on to the kayak (me). lol

Or, it might just be a neurotransmitter sitting by the pool, listening to the rhythm of the falling rain...



It still hurt and spasm still hit... yet, I felt happier and much more relaxed.

Reality check

I dragged my aging body into the pharmacy today to pick up that prescription grade pain killer after work today...

Having been back to work for a while, I think I am starting to think I am like all other ordinary people who could rush to handle emergency situations.

I saw this device that I have been testing about to fall down to the floor... the adrenaline level went up and I dragged my body rushing to rescue that baby toy of mine only to avail.

Then, the spasm started to hit me and I began to feel the nerve pain growing-- bringing me sort of to my tears...

To temporarily relief the pain so that I could hang on till the end of the day, I took a pain killer... which lasted me till now when I am doing icing on my neck and back.

I am sorry if this makes me sound like someone who is addictive to narcotic drugs.

I could have refrained myself from taking more medications shall I have not started forming the hypothesis about a feedback loop between my mental condition and my physical condition.

I am sorry if today's scenario makes me sound like someone with hysteric personality, who consistent finds trouble to trap oneself into.

Nothing would have happened shall things have happened not.

One thing I know is that...

Perhaps, at times, we all are offered the chance to perform a reality check to see how we are doing in our most vulnerable areas.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

All quite in the Westend

It is very funny that... after my last posting, all the strange things started to fade away...

I have no idea whether it is my praying to God and/or other paranormal power, the smokes that calmed my nerve or the animation I play in my head involving my neurotransmitters in club meds on the beach of Porta Plata, D.R., leisurely sipping strawberry Margarita served by the hard working Seroquel and Depako. lol

It doesn't really make sense to me since--- aren't the symptoms supposed to get worse when the drugs effects gradually fade away?

Hallucinations and delusions do come out and play once in a while but they go away when I quietly complain, "精神病 (mental)..." lol

At this point, it feels as if I got concrete in my head as if my split heads somehow have been glued together into one, wore a helmet to keep them together, or are protected behind some firewall 8-O (metaphor lol) ... letting me wonder further what could have induced such irrational change in my state of being (which is shared by many others)...

In other words, why are there times when the stressful states induced by psychotic symptoms not contribute to further aggravation while they do other times?

Going to court tomorrow... Gotta go get my beauty sleep... Nite Nite

twilight zone

This must have been one of the years that I have been most afraid of cold.

When people are walking around as if it is spring, I would still be bundled up as if it were in a winter's night, a traveller...

When my sister came to visit, she came to the conclusion that-- walking at ordinary people's pace, our bodies could generate heat... however, at the pace I move, no wonder it is cold...

Yet, somewhere in my mind, I still have the feeling that something might be sort of off in the place that regulate the body temperature...

So, last night, I went down another 250 mg on Depako--- in other words, I took 200 mg Seroquel and 1000 mg Depako only in total.

Around 6-6:30 today, I started feeling sort of flaky in the head and fairly restless. Since I can't jump onto my gym machine yet, the best I could do is to walk around the hallway twice to release some energy.

Along the way, I prayed (ya, despite me no religious) for God's help and the help from any source possible...

When I got back to my room, I knew I have to do something to keep my head focused... so I started posting things for sale on ebay.

Then, it was around 7-ish, when I started to feel some bodily kind of sensation--- it felt as if my body is icy cold, while, at the same time, the speeding of my heart rate and the tremor of the body makes it felt like as if I were to have an anxiety attack (while ordinary psychotic might interpret it as some attach from some paranormal sources).

Mama was taking a nap.

When I stopped making postings on ebay and stared at the box of my dear rubber stamps, thinking of I forget what, she all of a sudden woke up and asked me, "What are you doing?" 8-O lol

I didn't want to lie and I didn't want to tell the truth. So I told her, "selling things on ebay."

This is a bit stressful, I thought to myself.

I went to smoke a cigarette and, to warm up, I went to the kitchen to make myself a warm cup of tea.

While boiling water using the microwave, I stared at the microwave while feeling the coldness coming to my lungs each time I breathe and waves of coldness coming down my arms, forming "cold energy ball," as psychotics might interpret it as.

In the mean while, I thought to myself... shall there really be such thing as insanity in medical dictionary, I must be in the twilight zone since the phenomenology coexist in my world. 8-O

Then, I had this visualization in my head of a bunch of M&M like neurotransmitters getting up to play... thinking... this is what is happening...

I tried to persuade my head to accept another more soothing picture.... M&Ms in club meds, leisurely doing nothing practicing this thing called social loafing while sipping their strawberry Margarita for me... lol

Still having to wait another 3 hours until my time for meds... let me get back to my ratological occupational therapy called... putting things for sale on my ebay store. lol sigh

The road traversed

When we were having our breakfast, mama and I were chatting about the lessons we learned from our lives so far and talked about how mama almost died when she was 36 and I was 5 because of the Type B Hepatitis she got through blood transfusion after a surgery.

My mama was very brave and she managed to continue living because she still has three daughters to bring up.

My mama told me, "You have to tell yourself that you could do it and you will be able to do it..." referencing to all things I have to deal with.

I don't know why I did not tell her this but along the way, this is one thought that kept me from doing everything I could do to get well better however sorrily slow the pace of my recovery is...

I kept on thinking about how my mom who is really good at driving me crazy (and vice versa) could actually live through her sickness when all doctors in the hospital gave up on her.

As a result, despite how annoying it is having to go through my retarded grade of recovery rate, I know I could do it because my mama has shown it to me.

Then, as the casual conversation went on, we together came to the conclusion that it might have been tiring, it might have been frustrating, it might have been, at times, unnerving, however---

一路走來也不後悔.

There is no regret at all about the road traversed because we have walked passed it and here we stand to look back and to realize that...

Granted, it is important to love, live, and work---

Yet, there is nothing really worth us being anal retentive about as long as when, years down the road, you could look back and say--- I tried my best and I did what I should have done.

And, later today, at the intersection I looked back at all affairs concerning love, life, and, work, still with cane in hand and spasm with pains making me stop to rest, I happily thought to myself...

Life could be better lol, but, I have no regret.

In addition, like someone has pointed out to me citing Oscar Wilde, even if I had done things that could be classified as mistakes before, "experiences is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."

Steps

Another day with springy kinda warm weather!

I took a walk with my mom outside to get a hair cut, still dressing up for the winter's cold to keep my body warm.

Encouragingly, when under the sunshine, I found myself to move over 20 steps and pushing 30s at times.

I thought to myself--- "Gee, I love the warm weather but does it mean that when the cold comes back next year, I have to start from ground zero? That wouldn't be too nice! :-O

Then, at times, we walked under the shadow and I found myself back to the teens again in turns of the number of steps I could take before a rest.

Together we moved and back to the under the sunshine we walked.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

realization kinda thing

I think that, a lot of times, we try our best to defer our understanding about things because the acceptance makes us feel not so good. Psychoanalysts might call it repression or suppression or whatever-pression.

While, at the same time, it could simply be our propensity for selective attention-- in that we select to attend to the information we want to attend to despite of all evidence presented right in our face although sometimes it might take some minor amount of rationalization to link them together. I suspect that, when one finally decide to accept the existence of and take a look at additional evidence as well as to finally make the link, that might be the point of realization, could be called epiphany, or, any other words along this them.

It must have taken my mom about 10 years until she confronted me about my smoking habit. It is amazing how she had come and stayed with me through out all these years but never questioned why I smell like smoke at times.

Today, I told her about how I had never seized to experience delusions and hallucinations since my second hospitalization since 5 years ago. Although she knew I have been on meds, she seemed to be fairly surprised by the fact that I had never grown out of being psychotic.

When I was hanging out with a friend two weeks ago, this friend of mine hypothesized that, one of the reason why my ex-guy-to-get-married-to disappeared might have something to do with his final realization that... oops... she is psychotic and what it be like to be with something like her till the end of the time. Ouch... lol sigh
.

Detach mode

What a beautiful day outside!

Earlier on, I went out for a walk with my mama to do my daily exercise-- walking and climbing up and down the hills.

Then, I told my mama... "let's sit under the sun to get some sun tanning."

So I sat there and hang...

I came home after grocery shopping with mama.

We had lunch and, after lunch, I explained to her why I go sit under the sun.

I told her I am now reducing the dosage of Depako, which is causing my head to be sort of not quite know the condition. 8-O

I told her the drug is making me feel really hungry all the times. Based on my naive theory, I think the increased appetite is related to the lowered metabolism rate. Maybe food is being metabolise so slowly that the brain is getting the message that I am not eating enough and send to me the message that I am really hungry by mistake (regardless whether it is right or wrong since I don't really care).

The battle zone in my head, also makes it more difficult for me to handle stress since stressful is the adjective for the default mode inside of my head now.

After lunch she wanted to take a nap, I told her I wanted to go under the sun again and I went-- to let sunshine help my bones grow, my aches and pains fade, and, the poor neurochemicals to find a equilibrium state.

At some points, I opened my eyes and looked all around....

I felt well rested from resting under the sun.

I also felt detached from the world around, which, despite of the occasionally positive symptoms, shows me I am still too drugged out-- which means-- the dosage could still go down more to cut down the side effects even more without imposing too much more of delusions and hallucinations.

If the light (sunlight) therapy these two days works, maybe I could decrease another 250 mg of Depako a day earlier (tonight) instead of tomorrow night? (just don't tell my shrink until I tell him... lol)

So that.. sooner, I will be able to feel the alive-ness experienced by people.

I want to live-- yet, such is not what I mean by living--- in detach mode.

Friday, March 21, 2008

moments

Today marks the second day when I take 200 mg of Seroquel and 1250 mg of Depako.

With Depako going down, I could sense the increase level of anxiety and its earlier arrival in the day. At the same time, I am still coping with that craving for food although meat product or not is no longer essential. The body is still shaking and sometimes it shakes worse than other times. In addition, hallucinations seem to occur more frequent yet only sort of annoying later in the day...

Today, for instance, the anxiety level reach its higher point at around 5-8...

Used to be, I could use exercise to compensate it, except for now, the speed at which I pace does not really allow "exercising" to take as much edge as I would like it to.

Mama doesn't like me to eat too much cuz she thinks I am gaining too much weight... oops...

Neither does she want me to smoke too much and so I agree.. except for it does calm me down.

So I thought of meditation---

Psychotic as I am, I actually would absolutely refrain myself from doing the meditation thing nowadays for fear that my head gonna be flying to another planet. lol 8-X

The closest alternative I found was to post some more stamps for sale for my ebay store.

Although, at the beginning of the time, I started my ebay experiences from digging a hole, later on, as time progress, under unemployment, putting things on ebay for sale was one thing I could cling on to feel a sense of "getting something done out of nothing."

So, tonight, like many other days and nights, when I try to limit the amount of cognitive processing in my head, I turn to making listings for my ebay store.

The process is simple and allows me to force myself concentrate on the simple tasks.


  1. Take digital pictures
  2. Download pictures
  3. Upload pictures
  4. Using a third party company called auctiva to create my listing
  5. Schedule the listing for the future
In between, I moved around my room looking for other stuffs and going back to perform the same iteration of the menial process.

Then, two hours later, I really had to get up to see what I could do with the craving...

I smoked another cigarette and thought to myself...

When will the time come when I could finally take my drug?

When will the time arrive when I could, like before, use my brain, live with the symptoms, and, stop coping with the minor inconveniences related to the change of the drug?

Before those days come, I might just have to sell more things at a loss to gain my moments of concentration and "global trading" experiences through my ratology ebay store (shall I have amounted to nothing the last 10 months, at least I opened a store I guess...)... lol sigh

Ode to Magical thinking

Magical thinking is one of the indicators for patients with mental illness in that the patients often think themselves or other people could have paranormal powers.

I had mentioned this earlier...

When thinking back, yet, not looking back again today, I thought to myself-- based on my estimation, the worsening of my mental status might have already started to occur all the way back to end of the Summer or early in fall.

What took it so long for the acute psychotic episode to finally unveil way into January?

What could have carried me for so much longer?

I, then, opted to the potential existence of paranormal abilities...

Perhaps, there are people with some abilities ordinarily not appreciated by existing science and, at certain point, they have to let go of that desire to keep my conditions from spiraling down because it is my time and it is just too much for them to handle.

Or, perhaps, it is purely the collective good wills that have been unwittingly transformed into the healing power that had supported me along the road.

I don't really care whether such an irrational rational is true or not.

It is like the beliefs that lead gamblers and athletes to do whatever they do before game play, such a thinking has some soothing power--

You might call it religious yet I don't go to church--

you might call it spiritual but I am now more afraid of calling God bad names than feeling connected with him.

One thing I know is that, shall paranormal abilities be part of this chapter, thank you for helping me carrying on along this trip and showing me the lessons.

Please keep on doing what you have been doing since I am now tired of carrying on the load myself... In addition, shall you keep on practicing, your influence might become one day--- global! 8-O Wow...

Shall such thing exist not, well, the last time I check I am still on really high dosage meds for antipsychotic kinda meds and it never hurt to show appreciation anyway. lol

Such a posting could, I guess, be a manifestation of my fear, again, about-- where could one turn to shall modern meds fail?

10 months and 2 days

My mom reminded me two days ago that... it has been 10 months since the accident.

The funny thing is that... after some time, you stop counting the days and, in stead, you start to count the steps you could take to move forward.

Soon, it will be a whole year while I am still, in the winter's cold, struggling to move 10-12 steps before coming to a rest and in warmer whether, could push to over 20 something steps right after a rest.

What is taking so long is no longer a meaningful question to ask...

The questions, rather, are

How could I have, through out all these times, one step at a time, moving along?

How am I going to, moving through these times, and move on forward?

How we love someone

I often think love is a very strange thing... it is almost like that thing they taught me in school-- multiple manifestations of the same principle.

After my sister went back to Santa Fe, NM, now Ratology is a policed state governed by my mom... lol

Both my sister and my mom want things to be done their way, which imposes extra amount of stress since so do I want things done my kinda way and I have to work on complying with their wishes.

They both had come into town because they want to take care of me. At the same time, I could not shake this sense of guilt that their love for me has interrupted their lifestyle.

Then, it led me to think about my own modus operandi.

Like all other people, I live my life with my issues and minor inconveniences granted by life itself.

Just when I was thinking about that ex-fiance of mine whom ran away with God-knows-whom, I thought of that time when we started to go into this phase of "falling in love."

I had felt that it was my responsibility to inform him of my propensity for mental health condition and I felt it would be really unfair for him to go through with it along with me every time I have to cope with the up and down.

Then, when I was stealing a smoke, this thought occurs to me again...

Perhaps, sometimes, when we love someone, we need to let them go where they want to go, which involves the letting go of our own belief, and let them be who they want to be.

Perhaps I am wrong and perhaps I am right.

It could have something to do with all minor inconviniences I have to go through in my life.

Or, it could also have something to do with the worldview I have developed before my conditions unfold.

Then, I thought of my mom who is diligently cutting meat in the kitchen and who had been working really hard on tidy up on room.

I kept on telling her to take a rest but she kept on moving on not listening to me.

And, then... it occurs to me again...

Perhaps, sometimes, when we love someone, we need to let them go where they want to go and let them be who they want to be.

There is no point of stopping them simply because of what we believe in...

So, I left my mom along doing what she wants to do for me because I love her and she loves me while we all express our love differently.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Beyond Feeling: Chronic Pain Hurts the Brain, Disrupting the Default-Mode Network Dynamics

It was beyond excitment to me the other day when I cam across an article titled "Beyond Feeling: Chronic Pain Hurts the Brain, Disrupting the Default-Mode Network Dynamics" published in the Journal of Neuroscience in February, 2008.

This article pointed out the neurological, if not anatomical, similarities between the consequences of experience chronic pain and psychiatric illness such as depression, anxiety disorder, and, schizophrenia (psychotic kinda disorder). The findings also go along with results I summarized in previous postings (e.g., chicken and egg) in that there is a high comorbidity between chronic pain and psychiatric disorders.

Essentially, this study was rested on the assumption of Default Mode Network (DMN)- a natural phenomenon occurring in your brain to balance out the amount of activities you head has to carry on. For ordinary people, when performing certain tasks, certain region of the brain will become more active, and, as a result, other regions will become quieter or at rest-- or in the default mode. However, for patients with illness such as depression, anxiety disorder, and, schizophrenia, it has been established that the DMN is interrupted. Following this trend of thought, the authors would like to see whether the DMN disruption also exists in chronic pain patients.

The experiment involved 15 healthy participants and 15 patients suffering from chronic pain. These participants were requested to perform simple visual attention tasks.

The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to assess the potential differences in the brain resting activities between the normals and the chronic pain patients due to the assumption that chronic pain perception could "leave a mark beyond cortical circuits involved in perception."

And, essentially, what this study suggest is that "the brain of a chronic pain patient is not simply a healthy brain processing pain information;" like that for patients with depression, anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, and schizophrenia, it is one that has been altered by persistent pains through a prolong period of time.

The question Ratprincess would ask is... Would it be possible to reset my brain back to the disruptive state of DMN reflecting only my propensity for depression and psychosis and how could it be done following the neuroplasticity assumption? In addition, being well-endowed with multiple labeling, is the impact of pain additive or synergistic to the originally destructive state?

And, of course, one thing I could not stop wondering is... what is the chance of the chronic pain complicated my preexisting mental health condition and by how much?

For more information, please check the following website: http://www.chialvo.net/

P.S. me no expert in this field and have only limited cognitive capacity to spare. Please correct me shall I make mistakes in my summary of the article or please go read it yourself....

Gas and drug

Today I went to see my psychiatrist, among the topics we discussed about is the issue of the side effect of the medications.

I might be wrong but I think Risperdal is somehow still in my system or my system continue to go through withdrawal.

The shakes are not so bad but I still got the really Canadian Shake and Bake-- or what one might want to label as tardive dyskinesia.

The craving for food, especially for MEAT, has gone done but I could still sense it faintly.

With Seroquel taking over, now my world is less sharp, alert, and, powerpointed... rather, I am back to the state of being sort of fuzzy in the head yet regaining the ability to see alternatives through my peripheral visions.

Two more side effects I mentioned to my psychiatrist were the problems of constipation and passing gas.

Interesting enough, through out the literature, it has been documented substantially that these drugs often lead to irregular kinda bowl movement.

I haven't been able to find any source that indicates "helplessly passing extremely stinky gas" as a side effect. Since there were times when I was at no fault and I smelled similar kinda stinky smell, I have come up with a naive theory that Risperdal might have something to do with it (Ratology, 2008) and patients passing these kinda gas might be experiencing the side effect of Risperdal (My Shrink, 2008). Of course, it might also have something to do with the eating of similar meal as well in the hospital... lol

In any case, now that the price of gas is out of my mind with constipation and the sense of overdosed on drug keeping me occupied, from tonight on, I will be taking 200 mg Seroquel and 1250 mg Depako (instead of 1500 mg) to gradually relief the weight I am imposing on my liver...

Ratopia

The day my sister came to visit me, she started developing a cold that does nothing but making her cough.

She doesn't feel tired. She doesn't sneeze. She doesn't have a headache or any other symptom of a cold.

She just coughs.

One day, she went to China Town and was about to get some herbal meds for me.

All of a sudden, she started her violent cough, which got herself really frustrated and made the others stepped back a few yards.

When she got home, she told me about this story.

It reminded me of what she mentioned to me the day before... something like...

"You are like any other ordinary people except for your room is a chaos."

I replied... "I have been like this for as long as I could remember.... before or after any diagnosis was every applied to me." 8-O

So, after, she mentioned that personal story of hers, I responded, "Sounds like me" except for people who know me, they should know me by now, and, for people who me not know, how would they know?

It was this afternoon when I was crossing the street and when the spasm made me stop for a rest....

It occurs to me... for people who me know half way, this could be perceived as catatonia while, for me, the only thing I know is that I was a happy psychotic, although sometimes sings my moody blues, living an active live style-- 24/7 on the wheel.

And, I have an image in my mind... lol


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

drooling

By drooling, I am refering to the activity within which the saliva, the secretions of the salivary glands, falls out of your mouth.

A few days after I stopped taking Risperdal, the problem I have now is more of that of dry mouth than the drooling activity that makes me look extremely unladylike-- when it just come out of my mouth-- oops-- when I was not paying much of my cognitive capacity to monitor its activity.

Don't know whether I have told you this or not, the day I was discharged from the psychiatric ward, I went to get myself some Wanton soup in a Chinese restaurant. I thought I was quite alert...

Yet, when the soup was on the table, as I was staring right into that soup I had been dreaming of, in split second, I found the saliva came out of my mouth unwittingly like Pavlov's dog.

That was the point when I understood why some patients might drool.

It was from then on did I realize that, to cope with the psychiatric condition and its consequences, I also have to spare my already limited cognitive capacity to making sure I do not drool. 8-O lol Sigh

It was much later, after I tried to cope and cope with my own saliva, did I finally have the insight that...

No wonder dentists put the suction thing underneath the tong because that is where the saliva secreted from... 8-O

Something I would rather to have no deep understanding again. 8-O lol

Monday, March 17, 2008

Secondary injury

I went online and did some search about whether my acute psychotic episode could be accounted as a secondary injury of my accident.

All these years having symptoms controlled, after the accident, I went into depression and my positive symptoms went up the wall...

Someone from HR asked me whether the 2 weeks of my out sick was related to the accident.

I responded in email that I think so yet I have to double check with the lawyer.

I asked this question to my lawyer and he responded, "Were you actively seeking treatment?"

Apparently, the answer of yes would make it harder to establish a psychiatric secondary injury case even though the partial contribution to exacerbated condition is the key point.

I thought to myself... people practicing law knows the laws-- especially when, after googling, I couldn't really find similar cases unlike the state of Connecticut etc.

I, later, recalled all the things I have gone through so far in reality and in my imaginary world.

啞吧吃黃蓮, 有苦說不出

How many times have I experienced the above phenomena?

It doesn't really matter after all....

Everyone could do the best they could do to get this case resolved. Such I believe because I am an idiot and 天公疼愚人... lol

For me, there is only one focus and one goal... learn the lessons I could learn and forgo the counterproductive thoughts.

In addition, I paid to take a class... can't be wasting the tuition I paid for and I shall use the time productive rather than on useless thoughts (especially I believe I have done my share of it lol)

P.S. The synopsis I posted earlier today are for the class I registered for-- 1 stone 2 birds-- my learning and yours

Going out

I was thinking about meat still yesterday-- a whole lot even though that was the second day after I stopped taking Risperdal and switch solely back to Seroquel.

When my psychiatrist checked in with me, I complained something like...

"I can't stop wanting to eat meat. I want meat and I want to eat all the time."

So my sister and I went for a brunch in a Chinese restaurant and we ordered meat dishes.

In the evening, we ate at home but we cooked even more meat.

That was my architect sister's intuitive flooding intervention.

She said, "Let's make you eat so much meat that you would see meat and get sick." lol

I was still thinking about meat today earlier on and that meaty thought and food craving finally seem to to fade away.

Just when I was getting back to this laptop, it occurs to me...

Risperdal is finally and gradually getting out of my system and, perhaps, it really is Risperdal that was causing my meat craving. I won't say, though, that Depako has no contribution at all...

Regardless what they say about how drugs and meds do not deposit in your system, they do and it takes time for them to dissolve...

Mental disorders among persons with chronic back or neck pain: results from the World Mental Health Surveys

Demyttenaere, K., Bruffaerts, R., Lee, S., Posada-Villa, J., Kovess, V., Angermeyer, M., et al. (2007). Mental disorders among persons with chronic back or neck pain: results from the World Mental Health Surveys. Pain, 129(3), 332-342.

“Mental disorders among persons with chronic back or neck pain: results from the World Mental Health Surveys” documented the results of a cross-national and sectional study collaborated by researchers from 17 countries (Demyttenaere et al., 2007).

In this study, chronic pain is defined as pain lasting for over 12 months and mental health status is assessed using the 3rd version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) 3.0. The mental health disorders considered in this study include mood disorder (major depression and dysthymia), anxiety disorder (generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], panic disorder and/or agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], and social phobia) as well as substance abuse/dependency. These disorders are assessed based on the definitions and criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).

For me, the most interesting part of the results is in the suggestion that… when looking at the association between mental disorders and back/neck pain, we need to be looking at the whole spectrum of the disorder but not only focusing on major depression. At the same time, this study, interesting enough, did not include psychotic disorders as part of its investigation.

Mental disorders in people with chronic pain: An international perspective

Nicholas, M. K. (2007). "Mental disorders in people with chronic pain: An international perspective " Pain 129(3): 231-232.

In an editorial writing for the “Pain” journal, the author provided a good summary about the zeitgeist on how the interplay between pain and mental disorders are laid out (Nicholas 2007).

Essentially, there are three kinds of views—mental disorder as the antecedent of chronic pain, mental disorder as the consequence of chronic pain, and, my favorite view, the chronic pain and mental disorder are maintained through the interplay of their comorbidity (Bair, et al., 2003).

Again, I am born too late-- didn't I cook up my armchair view about the interplay in my blog except for the accident came years late… lol sigh

Psychiatric illness and chronic pain-- chicken and egg

Polatin, P., R. Kinney, et al. (1993). "Psychiatric illness and chronic low-back pain. The mind and the spine--which goes first?" Spine 18(1): 66-71.

As an attempt to understand the relationship between my physical and psychological health, I decided to start looking for literatures on this subject.

The paper I read is titled “Psychiatric illness and chronic low-back pain—Which Goes First” (Polatin, Kinney et al. 1993) stated that people suffering from chronic low-back pain (meaning the pain last for over 6 months) often also have the propensity to have psychiatric co-morbidity such as major depression, anxiety disorder, psychosomatization, and, substance abuse. The assessment was done using the two-part Structural Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R with diagnosis using the DSM-III-R expression.

The most interesting finding I got from this paper was that, among the 200 subjects, 97 percent of the patients have the diagnosis of psychosomatization. What this tells me is that… as long as you experience chronic pain, the psychosomatization diagnosis is readily to be applied to you regardless whether the interview is conducted or not and such label doesn’t really give us much information to work with. And, there might be a problem of over-diagnosis associated with this phenomenon.

Since I did go into major depression and become even more psychotic than I normally am for a while after the injury, let’s take a look at the prevalence of major depression for these patients.

The premorbid depression was observed in 35% of the sample without a gender difference. However, the comorbid prevalence of major depression is 45% of the sample with female patients more prone to develop major depression. In addition, 29% of the patients develop depression after the injury.

What about people with psychotic disorders?

3 percent of the sample report to be psychotic and remained to be psychotic. Since the paper did not address the issue of the qualitative change in the experienced symptoms, I can’t really tell you much about the impact of chronic pain on other psychotic patients.

Reading the last sentence in this paper,

"Psychiatric distress may or may not be reactive to the low-back pain but will certainly contribute to a prolonged disability if left untreated."


Reading the last sentence in this paper, I sighed...

Would there be one day when someone would add this other phrase to the conclusion:

"Chronic pain and temporary disability may or may not be reactive to the psychiatric conditions but will certainly contribute to a prolonged disability if left untreated." 8-O lol

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What they say about me

I might have mentioned it previously but I just thought it might not hurt for me to reemphasize this thought... inspired by a comment made by my eldest sister whom someone thought was my daughter today... 8-O >-O lol 8-X


Her comment was.. it is not necessary to do what people do... insinuating I have the tendency to do things just because that is what other people do. That might be right or wrong but I don't really care whether it is right or wrong.


What her comment reminded me of was the question I kept on asking myself for the longest time... and along the line of her comment... why can't I stop caring about the contents of my auditory halucinations and delusions, which are often manifested as other people's opinions about me.


Then, in one of the previous posting, I come to question this line of thinking following the psychoanalytical doctrine I know of...


Perhaps, the contents of my hallucinations and delusions are the what you might call "the demon from within" because, having lived so far, many of us would have figured out the patterns of how people react to scenarios or how people think. Eventually, we might internalize these understandings and learn to run simulations in our own head.


In a sense, although "what do they say about me" might be a comment regarding one's insecurity about being oneself and one's desire to confirm, I think, at a deeper level, it shows us the struggles we have about being our own selves.

Gone crazy and love

I finally got the insight why, in the college, I went along with many of my friends to audit the class in 詮譯學 or Hermeneutics-- and the reading of Marcel Proust, the unter weg zur sprache by Heidegger, and, a lover's discourse by Roland Barthes.

I guess it might have something to do with my attempt to convey to you the process of "going crazy" through the means of narratology all these years.

Regardless how I little I have accomplished, what I am trying to do is to use text and multimedia to present to you some phenomena otherwise unexplainable.

Then, I thought of a lover's discourse by Roland Barthes and the similarity of the process of falling in love and building up a delusional system in one's imaginary world.

We all have these experiences...

Why doesn't he call and why didn't he respond to the call?
Why doesn't he email me and why didn't he respond to the email?
Am I interpreting what he said right?
Is he just playing with me or does he genuinely care?
What and why does he care?

These are all questions in our head and it is through these questions do we start creating scenarios to torture ourselves and build up our obsessive compulsive thinking about the one we think we love.

After all the scenarios built up, possibly, like one of the stories in the invisible city, nothing has happened, except for, we have virtually lived through the remaining of our life span with that person--- dated, kissed, had sex, broken up, or, married, possibly had children, divorced, or, kept each other company till either one died and the survivor lived through live without the other one again.



All is done while nothing ever happened because all are but the scenarios tested in the imaginary world.

At some point, even if there is really a man you invest your attention on, with the scenarios in your head, what you have done is but kept on building an image of a person you thought the other person should be like in your own mind. The one you are in love with or you love might no longer be that person.

Similar is the development of a delusional system.

You hear auditory hallucinations or you are exposed to actual stimuli. What could you do to explain these things...

So, you select a scenario in your head to explain what you have heard.

You hear the siren from the street down below. The loved one is injured or dead because the computer exploded 8-O or because he was hit by an accident.

"The suicidal." and "Fire." You heard.

The man you though you love is suicidal and died because his house somehow got caught on fire.

On the street, you hear people talking about "Saturday."

You interpret it as the man you thought you care for is to do something for you on Saturday because the laws and regulations will be lifted.

To break down the process and visually represent how delusions are form... think of the building of a powerpoint slide show... you have text written down-- you looked into a bank of images and videos to help you interpret the preexisting text.

Nothing ever happens but everything happens constantly in your own mind.

And, at some point, you start wondering, am I myself the suicidal in my own imaginary world and are those the fear I have for myself... following the psychoanalytical doctrine.

While at the same time, all the thoughts surrounding that person you care for lead the falling in love part of you kept on falling in love. lol

One day I might further edit this posting...

Today, just the sharing of the unfolding of delusional thinking or going crazy through the lens of love. lol

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Love

I think we all love and care for people in our own ways... the best way we could estimate.

My sister came to visit on Tuesday.

We don't really talk much about anything... maybe I shared something I mentioned in the blog to her and maybe she told me a bit about how exhausting the bus trip was to and back from China town.

We talked about my symptoms and the experiences of switch drugs like talking about the change of the weather.

We ate.

We had some snacks.

I sat in front of the computer while she wanted to get my room arranged in a better way (she is an architect).

She nagged about wanting my to posting some ebay listings to sell some gem stones for the shop she works at while I was trying to take care of my bills and the unintended financial damages of the acute and more intensive psychotic episode.

We didn't have to hug and kiss each other (guess the Asian kinda thing).

But, we know how much we love each other and how we don't have to impose our being into each other's existence because we already are there.

There is no need to doubt and to feel insecure about how much we meant for each other, and to have the sole ownership of each other.

I think that is the optimal kinda love.

Knees

I knew I had pains going down my feet but, when I am asked, did they come through your back or your knees, I couldn't really tell.

It was not until Thursday when I went to see my physical therapist for initial evaluation and afterwards did I learn to identify which kinds of shooting pains are generated by the back and which by the knees.

Something else I don't really need to learn.

Meat

I still have the image of meat or steak in my head despite of the fact that the dosage of risperdal has gone down to 2 mg and Seroquel gone up to 150mg.

This makes me think.... would it be actually Depako that is making me think of steak and meat? Would I have been barking at the wrong tree? 8-O lol

Tonight the dosage of Risperdal would go down to 0 mg and Seroquel up to 200 mg.

In around 2 days, we would be able to tell which drug is at fault for my meaty thinking... lol

Idiot

Although nowadays my useless head could leisurely enjoy the feeling of being symptoms free, I still could not help but to form ideologies aligning with the conventional psychosomatic kinda line of thinking when interpreting my conversations with the others.

At times, I am not even so sure whether it is really the sole contribution of the delusional propensity or simple as the implication of schema theory and its extension such as the mental model theory or the information processing theory.

On so high a dosage for the meds I am on... all influencing the behavior of neurotransmitters, the engine of my head are yet to start up.

At the same time, despite the high dosages, which theoretically should help to get rid of the pains and their ensuring spams, I am still in chronic pain in neck, back and knees.

However, almost 9 months after the accident, I guess now I have finally learned to live with pains up to a certain degree.

However, the ghost of the past just would not crossover....

When people simply asking me how I am doing with my back, I find myself to have the propensity to add the rational behind my improving prognosis.

"It is much better. The warmer whether helps."

I don't know whether the warmer whether really help physically or it is the placebo effect.

The only thing I know is-- the warmth on my back feels soothing and the muscles all around my body do not have to get all tightened up to generate heat to keep me warm.

So, in my imaginary world, sometimes, when people are in their own world, when people ask about how I am doing, when I could not help but wonder whether they again swing towards the psychosomatic trend of thinking, I think to myself....

What an idiot... why can't I let go of the ghost of the past, let it crossover, and, let the though of psychosomatization and its associations dissolve like delusional systems--- like a droplet into the sea.... since the thoughts seem to be really useless to me...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Perhaps, withdrawal or change of guards

Perhaps, what I am experiencing more and more frequently and intensively is the withdrawal from Risperdal... it's about 15-16 hours since I took the decreased dosage.

My extremity now is either cold like ice or burning hot... (and now I know what it means to have burning pain officially, I guess, something I have stated to not want to understand)

My body is shivering and hands are shaking like the real Canadian shake and bake. lol

Sort of having problem to coordinate my body-- including writing and typing also slowered.

However, it is ok... withdrawal will pass and I will be fine, I know.

Or, since Seroquel still is moving in, let's call it the change of guards phenomena....

If you have any question, ask it, cause I will not dwell in withdrawal forever and I will grow out of it.